Job growth vs population growth
Oregon Economic Analysis' team is looking ahead at where future workers will come from in the state.
Oregon is entering into the 11th year of economic expansion, where working-age Oregonians are back in the workforce at a higher rate than before the great recession.
Economist Josh Lehner said, "This is tremendous economic news and one big reason Oregon's job gains have outstripped the average state. That said, job growth among this age group in the past couple of years has essentially matched population gains, meaning the employment rate has held fairly steady. And this steady employment rate is a key driver in the slower statewide job gains in recent years. This largely reflects the fact that much of the slack is gone. There is no longer an army of unemployed Oregonians waiting around for a job."
According to Lehner, the three under-utilized work groups are teenagers, stay-at-home moms, and those with self-reported disabilities.
For those who move to Oregon, it's typically for a job or to look for work.
It seems job growth is tied closely to population growth, but Oregon saw a slow down in the migration rate in 2018 compared to other recent years.
Lehner said, "Eventually, once all of the slack is gone from the economy, job growth will match population gains. This has been the nature of our outlook for some time. The tricky part is figuring out how long and to what degree this transition takes place. There is still room to run for this economic expansion, and the longer it lasts the more progress we should see."
To read Lehner's blog in its entirety, click here.